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Marxist Libertarianism

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  • Registered Users Posts: 658 ✭✭✭johnp001


    Permabear wrote: »
    This post had been deleted.

    True but in a wider context if villages A,B and C in a particular area spend their time raiding each other then the net effect is that less time is spent in the area on productive tasks and the total wealth of the area goes down.
    If villages D,E and F trade and interact co-operatively then they maximise productivity, increase their wealth, receive migration of useful immigrants from the villages impoverished by violence and eventually assimilate the villages A,B and C into the system that produced the greater prosperity in the long run.

    I haven't read the book you refer to but undoubtedly it is correct that there was a lot of conflict before civilization, there must also have been a lot of peaceful co-operation though for civilization to come about.

    N.B: To clarify, this post is just a long-winded way of agreeing with the third paragraph above.


  • Registered Users Posts: 28,789 ✭✭✭✭ScumLord


    Permabear wrote: »
    This post had been deleted.
    I don't think that's a fair assessment of primitive peoples. when people were tribal I don't think we have a lot of evidence that they spent all that much time fighting. We do have plenty of evidence we traded extensively across massive areas.

    Slavery back then also wasn't quite the same as the slavery we know of today. It was often used to repay debt, as a punishment for crime and sometimes it was preferable to be the slave of someone with power and resources than to try surviving on your own in the wild.

    Native Americans would be another example, they would take white people captive to replace tribe members killed in battle. Those white people would take on the roles of the tribe member they were replacing and could live good lives. It shows that the group/tribe was something they placed above the individual.

    I think ancient cultures had better societies in many ways. Just look what the Egyptians achieved in the pyramids. The planning and knowledge that went into something that was built by farmers in their spare time shows what can be achieved when a group of people work towards something. We've completely lost that ability today, we strive towards nothing in the modern world, we're just random strangers consuming products aimlessly.

    It's why I always have an interest in communism and socialism. Individual humans are next to useless, all our power comes from cooperation. when you can aline a large group of people to a common cause there is borderline nothing they can't achieve.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,058 Mod ✭✭✭✭Brian?


    ScumLord wrote: »
    This post had been deleted.
    I don't think that's a fair assessment of primitive peoples. when people were tribal I don't think we have a lot of evidence that they spent all that much time fighting. We do have plenty of evidence we traded extensively across massive areas.

    Slavery back then also wasn't quite the same as the slavery we know of today. It was often used to repay debt, as a punishment for crime and sometimes it was preferable to be the slave of someone with power and resources than to try surviving on your own in the wild.

    Native Americans would be another example, they would take white people captive to replace tribe members killed in battle. Those white people would take on the roles of the tribe member they were replacing and could live good lives. It shows that the group/tribe was something they placed above the individual.

    I think ancient cultures had better societies in many ways. Just look what the Egyptians achieved in the pyramids. The planning and knowledge that went into something that was built by farmers in their spare time shows what can be achieved when a group of people work towards something. We've completely lost that ability today, we strive towards nothing in the modern world, we're just random strangers consuming products aimlessly.

    It's why I always have an interest in communism and socialism. Individual humans are next to useless, all our power comes from cooperation. when you can aline a large group of people to a common cause there is borderline nothing they can't achieve.[/quote]

    Libertarian socialism is all about cooperation. What's good for the individual is good for the collective and vice versea.

    they/them/theirs


    And so on, and so on …. - Slavoj Žižek




  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,795 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    johnp001 wrote: »
    If a majority of people are inherently destructive...

    Straw man. I didn't say that a majority of people are inherently destructive; I said that it's a mistake to assume that people will always act rationally.

    I completely agree that a world in which people traded freely would be a better world than one in which people form in-groups and fight with other in-groups. That's practically a self-evident truism. And yet, people do both.

    Why do people elect leaders who promise to bomb other countries into the stone age, when it's self-evident that the world would be a better place if they peacefully did business with them instead? Because people aren't rational.

    That's my core point, and it's the one that's being glibly ignored. If your political philosophy is predicated on people acting rationally, your political philosophy is hopelessly idealistic, because people don't and won't act rationally.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 39,022 ✭✭✭✭Permabear


    This post has been deleted.


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  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,795 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    Permabear wrote: »
    This post had been deleted.

    Right, but you're basically ignoring my point except insofar as you can find a way to use it to reinforce yours.

    Let's accept, for the sake of argument, that a society in which there was no central authority would self-organise in a way that was completely peaceful and prosperous. I don't think that has been satisfactorily demonstrated, but let's imagine it's the case.

    Let us then imagine that a faction within such a society became persuaded by a charismatic strongman that that faction was inherently more deserving than non-members of the faction, and that such a faction allowed itself to be organised in a hierarchical power structure that takes resources by force from the non-members. You could come up with any number of names for such a faction: the Mafia, or the Party, or the Church, or the Company... the point is that a society that depends for its survival on people simply never deciding to become part of such a faction seems somewhat vulnerable to me.

    Would the world be a better place if such factions didn't form? Sure. Does that mean that people will realise that it makes more sense not to form such factions than to form them? I doubt it. People don't act rationally.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,583 ✭✭✭Suryavarman


    mariaalice wrote: »
    That great but answer me one question : I would love to drive in the bus lane and not be stuck in a traffic jam I am fairly sure I don't do it because I don't want to get caught braking the law get penalties on my licences and end up paying may more in insurance.

    In a voluntary system we would obey because of what? in a free voluntary society want is the incentive to keep to the rules that are beneficial to society.

    There wouldn't be roads there in the first place because you wouldn't have a Government to build them in the first place.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,583 ✭✭✭Suryavarman


    Three questions:

    We once had complete anarchy across the globe but then Governments were created. Why won't that happen again?

    How does a world without a state fight a terrorist organisation such as ISIS?

    Presumably an anarchic state would have no central bank, so how are recessions staved off? How are recoveries sped up? (Okay, maybe there are 4 questions.)


  • Registered Users Posts: 224 ✭✭Pete29


    MayoSalmon wrote: »
    This has very little to do with the presence of government though?

    More government = less prosperity
    Less government = more prosperity


    Of course is has to do with the presence of government. If someone commits a crime against you, tries to steal your property or infringe upon your liberties/freedom, you turn to government to protect you with the power the people have consented to give it.

    My question to you is: can you point to any time in human history where no government has been established and people lived in general peace, prosperity and freedom?

    I'm not arguing for a large government. I'm arguing there is a basic level of government that is essential to protect people from the unjust encroachments of others.

    Is it your view there should be no government at all?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 39,022 ✭✭✭✭Permabear


    This post has been deleted.


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  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,795 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    Permabear wrote: »
    This post had been deleted.
    I'll repeat a point that I've made over and over again in these conversations: the alternative to a monopoly in violence is a free market in violence.

    Sure, people wouldn't be defenceless against a violent faction: they'd simply form a defensive faction and fight back. So now, instead of a state, we have warring factions. Delightful.
    We should note too that a local gangster can't declare nuclear war on Russia. The damage that could be done by such a faction is minuscule compared to a system where a volatile personality like Donald Trump becomes commander in chief of the world's most powerful military and nuclear arsenal.
    This argument is predicated on the idea that, in an anarchist society, a volatile personality could never gain control of a powerful military and a nuclear arsenal.

    Given that we're talking about a putative world that, by definition, has no mechanism for preventing anyone from developing nuclear weapons, I think that's a flimsy predicate.
    Inevitably, too, your defense of the state stops at the borders of liberal social democratic nations in the West. One rarely sees you mounting defenses of the likes of Yemen, Sudan, Libya, Venezuela, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, China, or the many other countries where billions of people live under corrupt and autocratic regimes. I'm quite sure that many of them would prefer self-organizing anarchy to the current state of affairs.
    I'm sure they'd prefer liberal social democracy to corruption and autocracy as well.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 39,022 ✭✭✭✭Permabear


    This post has been deleted.


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,795 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    Permabear wrote: »
    This post had been deleted.
    You can't know that it's far more destructive, because the means of mass destruction only truly came into being after the concept of the state monopoly on violence. You're happy to assume that non-state actors would never engage in violence on the same scale, but that doesn't make it true.
    Oh, what would we do if we had criminal gangs openly fighting one another on the streets of Limeri... oh, wait.
    There are problems in the world as it's currently structured, therefore if the world were structured differently there would be no problems." Not a form of logic I'm inclined to buy into.
    I'd find rogue-state ICBMs to be a far bigger threat than the prospect of the Mafia somehow coming up with a nuclear weapon.
    This is part of the "only states ever do bad things" approach you take to these discussions.

    Sure: the Mafia is highly unlikely to develop nuclear weapons, in a world where states are trying to prevent the proliferation of such weapons. You seem to believe that in a world with nuclear weapon technology, but without governments, nobody will have any interest in developing nuclear weapons. I don't get it.
    I find your perspective to be extraordinarily blinkered, with your defense of the state centered entirely on a handful of liberal social democracies in the West, even though "more than a third of the world's population, or 2.6 billion people, live in nations and territories gripped by repression, corruption and human rights abuses."

    How would you explain to those 2.6 billion people (almost 4 times the population of the EU, for the record) why they should keep believing in statism?
    I would point out that almost two thirds of the world's population (4.9 billion, almost seven times the population of the EU) live in nations and territories not gripped by repression, corruption or human rights abuses.


  • Registered Users Posts: 224 ✭✭Pete29


    I find your perspective to be extraordinarily blinkered, with your defense of the state centered entirely on a handful of liberal social democracies in the West, even though "more than a third of the world's population, or 2.6 billion people, live in nations and territories gripped by repression, corruption and human rights abuses."

    How would you explain to those 2.6 billion people (almost 4 times the population of the EU, for the record) why they should keep believing in statism?

    Two thirds is not a handful. Those people live in oppression because of their Geography, Culture and the quality of their institutions. It has nothing to do with government as a concept.

    Demonstrate with a time and place in human history when the complete absence of government has led to human flourishing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 28,789 ✭✭✭✭ScumLord


    There wouldn't be roads there in the first place because you wouldn't have a Government to build them in the first place.
    Roads existed before governments. Ireland had constructed roads at the same time as Rome and we had no government at the time as far as I know.
    We once had complete anarchy across the globe but then Governments were created.
    But we didn't have complete anarchy. We can't really say for sure but we had tribes, which I suppose are basically monarchies.

    Every time the powers that be have failed in history humans break up into smaller groups but always seem to work towards large scale peace so they can trade. Towns become city states, which become nations, nations enter alliances. The modern world is basically the most recent attempt taking into account everything we're learned by previous failures.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,583 ✭✭✭Suryavarman


    ScumLord wrote: »
    Roads existed before governments. Ireland had constructed roads at the same time as Rome and we had no government at the time as far as I know.

    Ireland didn't have cities then either. How are poor people supposed to get to work in the morning if a road cartel forms and drive up prices? Is someone going to come along and bulldoze a load of buildings into the city centre just so poor people can go to work?
    But we didn't have complete anarchy. We can't really say for sure but we had tribes, which I suppose are basically monarchies.

    There was no Government. There was complete anarchy. If you are disputing that then you're admitting that anarchy is impossible.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,583 ✭✭✭Suryavarman


    Further to my other questions:

    How does an anarchic society protect the environment?

    How does such a society ensure every child gets a high quality education?

    How does such a society prevent income segregation in housing and the negative effects such a situation has? How does such a society ensure good quality housing to all?


  • Registered Users Posts: 28,789 ✭✭✭✭ScumLord


    Ireland didn't have cities then either. How are poor people supposed to get to work in the morning if a road cartel forms and drive up prices? Is someone going to come along and bulldoze a load of buildings into the city centre just so poor people can go to work?


    There was no Government. There was complete anarchy. If you are disputing that then you're admitting that anarchy is impossible.
    I really don't think it could be described as anarchy, Tribes traded with each other constantly, they entered into marriage agreements to maintain bounds. I think there was even specialisation in towns, IE: One town would be well known for trading, another for producing tools and so on. It would have been a lot of cooperating tribes ruled by a family hierarchy. There is infrastructure, there is evidence of cooperation across tribes, roads kind of prove that, it wasn't every tribe for themselves, especially when the tribes share family links.

    They likely had agreements to maintain public works like roads and religious monuments (many religious monuments are beyond the ability of one tribe, and require some sort of cooperation or they would be raided every other day). We can see similar with the early greek states, they shared a common culture had supported large scale religious projects even though they fought with each other quite a bit. Many battles back then, especially with smaller states were almost like a sport in comparison to battles later on where the stakes get raised a lot.

    I don't think we give ancient tribal cultures enough credit. In reality the "celts" were a diverse group of people with many different identities that shared enough culture to be able to trade and cooperate with each other when they needed to.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 39,022 ✭✭✭✭Permabear


    This post has been deleted.


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